Isabella Wang responds to Jack's racist remark on Big Brother
She was on the giving and receiving end of some of the most dramatic and disturbing moments of the season, but Isabella Wang’s time in the Big Brother house ended when she was evicted by her housemates on Thursday night’s live show. Isabella had a rocky time in the game, forming and breaking friendships and alliances. She had very public spats with both Kemi and Nicole and even though she was one of the original members of the dominant Gr8ful alliance, she ended up on the outs, even after opting not to take a shot at her fellow alliance-mates.
Unbeknownst to her, Bella was also on the receiving end of a racist remark by Jack, who responded to another comment of “the proof is in the pudding” by saying “rice pudding” while referencing Bella, who is Chinese-American.
But Bella also appeared to find love in the house, engaging in a showmance with Nick, who was clearly distraught when Bella was sent out of the game. Just 12 hours after being evicted, Bella called to chat about her time in the game, explain her feuds with Kemi and Nicole, respond to Jack’s disturbing comment, and look ahead to Nick meeting her mother. (Gulp!)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I want to start with what I think is the most critical point in your game. Back when Nick was Head of household, Nicole told you what people in your alliance were saying about you. You seemed to believe her at first, but then you asked the people she said were doing it about it, they denied it, and you believed them and then went hard after Nicole. Was this maybe the most critical point because Nick was HOH and you could have taken a shot at these people that were indeed already plotting to take you two out?
ISABELLA WANG: Yeah, I think that it’s kind of a numbers game. And at that moment there were so many people, their stories all aligned, and it was just Nicole backing herself up. And at the time I made the wrong judgment call. I made a wrong assumption and I definitely felt like it hurt my game after that. But I also feel like even if I had believed Nicole, I feel like the odds were so against me and Nick at that point already that we kind of took a leap of faith and we believed the wrong people for sure. And my relationship with Nicole was strained after that, but we did actually mend things up, and I love her so much as a person and hopefully she forgives me.
She said in her a goodbye message to you that she does forgive you and looks forward to hanging out with you outside the house, but that scene between you two was tough to watch. I assume you have regrets about how you were treating her during that whole situation?
Yeah, I definitely know that I have an aggressive personality and when I feel threatened or I feel like someone I love is threatened, I definitely can act irrationally. I can be super upset. That’s really the heat of the moment and until you’re on Big Brother and you’re in the house and you have all these pressures 24-7, it’s kind of hard to understand where my head was at. But yeah, I definitely acted really emotionally. I definitely really regret it because I truly do love Nicole as a person and at the end of the day I can look back and see that she was just looking out for me and I respect that so much and I love her so much for all of her forgiveness.
Let’s talk about someone else you had a roller-coaster ride with. You and Kemi. You two were inseparable when you first got in the house and then that went real bad real fast. What happened?
Yeah, Kemi was my girl. We went to the same school together, University of Maryland — go Terps! — and we instantly had a connection from day one. I just loved how blunt she was. We really got along, but I think what happened is in parts of her saving her game — you know, I took it personally when she mentioned me and Nick while she was on the block and she claimed that was all part of game and part of strategy. I did just still act on what I knew and in my mind, she was just kind of coming after the people that were there for her. So I felt really hurt by it because I truly thought that I was just being a friend to her wall while she was on the block for her last few days. And she kind of betrayed that.
We talked to Kemi last week and she told us the problem was that she told you in confidence about a conversation with Michie and then walked in on you telling him about it. Is that true or is there more there?
Um, I don’t really recall exactly what she’s talking about. But I do know Michie kind of talked to her maybe last minute, so I don’t really believe that’s when the issue started. I think that there was some growing distance up to her being evicted that I was confused about and I kind of just took it for what it was. Um, so I’m not really sure about that one.
You’ve only been out of the house for 12 hours so I’m not even sure what you know and what you’ve been told, but are you aware of a racially insensitive comment Jack made about you this past week?
I was made aware of it, but I personally have not seen any of the show for myself. And I think that is probably something me and Jack can talk about after this show. Based on me being evicted and things like that, I really felt like kind of put myself in this own boat. So I have a lot of respect for Jack. I know that everyone in that house, we’re all good people. I love everyone and this is a game and we’re a lot of hotheads put into a room and we’re entertaining and it’s fun. And I don’t regret any of the experiences and I don’t regret like the connections I’ve made.
So you want to see it for yourself and talk to him, but you’re sort of leaning towards forgiving Jack for the “rice pudding” comment?
Yeah, I think so. I would definitely have to discuss it with him and see what his intentions were that he said that.
Okay, we saw Nick telling you over and over again how much he loves you. And obviously the question becomes: Is this just a showmance or is there something more here?
I think there’s something more. I really, really, really, really didn’t want to get in a showmance at all. But Nick is a really great person and I love him so much and hopefully…. I mean it sucks ‘cause now hopefully I’ll wait a really long time to see him. I don’t even know who won the last HOH. I’m hoping it’s Nick or Sam, because I don’t want to see them so soon. But yeah, I definitely can’t wait to see him when he’s done with the show.
How did it feel as you walk out of the house, you sit down with Julie Chen and then on the screen we see Nick just absolutely sobbing in Sam’s arms after you left? What are your emotions as you see that?
One of the reasons why I love Nick so much is he’s so comfortable with his emotions. He’s so expressive. And I’m not like that. I wasn’t before the show and now I cry all the time. I feel so blessed to have someone that’s in my corner who cares so much about me, who supports me, and who has just become one of my closest friends and I’m gonna miss that. And I know he’s probably hurting, but hopefully he won’t be as distracted maybe. Maybe this can benefit us in some type of way.
You told Julie you hated Nick at first and found him annoying. Why was your first impression of him so negative?
Yeah, it’s funny cause I really didn’t like Nick too much. I mean, on the first HOH we share the log and you’re just joking back and forth. Even from the beginning, I wanted to game really hard and I was like, “This guy doesn’t take anything seriously. I want to win!” But my feelings clearly changed and he definitely won me over.
Sounds good, but can he even have children after taking that pool ball to the man region because of you?
[Laughs] That made it on TV?
Of course it made it on TV! You have to ask? Come on!
Oh no, that’s so funny! I think his ego was the only thing a little hurt by that.
No, that wasn’t the only thing that was a little hurt by that. So you did some last minute campaigning, you knew the odds were stacked against you. Did you feel you had a shot there at all to change some minds or did you kind of know that that it was going to be futile?
When I first got nominated as a replacement nominee, I was devastated because I knew that I essentially was going home. But when I came up with this plan of how I was going to campaign, I really had hope. And from the very beginning, before I even set foot in the house, I said that I’m not going to give up until I see Julie in the face. So I really, really gave it my all and I hope America can see that.
I really made it worth my while and I think I used every last minute to my advantage. I tried to campaign to people that I thought could be a potential flip. And I think I really had some reasonable logical points. And then I also took the time to make amends with people that I felt like I hurt, especially Nicole. So I have really no regrets coming out of the show. I think the last few days I learned a lot about myself and I can’t wait to keep watching the game and also see what happened to lead me up to this point.
Just from a game perspective, how do you feel about Cliff’s decision here to put you up? We know that Christie’s got the Diamond Veto power and she can put up a basically whoever they want so you’re going up regardless, but he opts to let her keep that power and instead just do her dirty work for her. What do you make of that move?
It’s an unfortunate decision, but at the end of the day we’re all there to play our own game and I hold him in really high regard for doing what he thinks is best and staying true to himself and it’s a decision that he’ll have to live with. I had to definitely suffer some of the repercussions of that because I didn’t expect me to be the one going home. And now two of his nominees are still in the house. They’re still huge strong threats. There’s still a majority, there’s still those six people that have to be taken down. I know Big Brother is all about expecting the unexpected, but you still like are facing extremely hard odds and I think Cliff does know that..
I saved the most important question for last. We met your mom at the start of the season. Clearly a pretty socially conservative lady. What do you think your mother thought of what she saw on her TV screen?
Oh my gosh. I haven’t even contacted anyone yet, but I don’t even know what I’m going to say to her. This poor woman lets me move to L.A. and then I get on TV and do all these things. I’m sure she’s not that excited, but at the end of the day, you gotta let the kids live their life and hopefully she’ll understand that for me this is such a growing month and I learned so much about myself and I’m really proud of who I am coming out of this show. I think your parents will always be proud of you. And that’s something I actually learned inside the house ‘cause it’s something that has always been a concern of mine and always making my parents proud. And in a weird way, I still feel like I did make her proud.
Have you given Nick some hints on how to win her over?
Oh my God, yes! He is so funny. He learns Mandarin all the time. It’s so cute that he thinks that that can win her over. But I did let him know that she’s pretty strict and a little scary sometimes.